The recent announcement that the American Bonanza Society and its ABS Air Safety Foundation had established the ABS Flight Instructor Academy was not only good news, it was a surprise. For some reason I’d thought that it had been around as long as ABS’s exemplary Bonanza Pilot Proficiency Program, which has been providing type-specific training for 30 years.
Perhaps it was, in an informal sharing of information among the the BPPP instructors. I took the course in 1991, and my instructor was Sandy Provenzano, 1990’s Flight Instructor of the Year, and knowledge of the F33 Bonanza I was flying surprised not only me, her knowledge revealed new insights to the airplane’s long-time owner.
The need for the ABS Instructor Academy has never been greater. Given the business travails of their maker, the Beech Bonanza, Debonair, Baron, and Travel Air are essentially orphans now. When these piston survivors are adopted by new owners, finding a qualified CFI for an in-depth checkout isn’t easy. The ABS Instructor Academy solves this problem and, given the challenges facing general aviation, groups dedicated to the support of other makes and models should take note of this solution and its mission, “to protect lives and preserve the Beechcraft fleet.”